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Villanova vs. Kansas State: Can ‘Nova bounce back after two losses?

The Big East Wildcats and the Big XII Wildcats face off on Tuesday.

Oral Roberts v Kansas State Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

The Villanova Wildcats take on the Kansas State Wildcats on Tuesday, December 5. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET in Manhattan, Kansas.

Villanova (6-3) is fresh off a two-game losing streak, falling 78-65 to Saint Joseph’s and a 57-55 loss to Drexel in Big 5 play. The Wildcats also had a shocking loss to UPenn earlier this season, but seemed to get back on track with a victory over a top-10 North Carolina Tar Heels team. This Villanova squad promises to be unpredictable this season, which can make these picks challenging.

‘Nova ranks 34th overall at KenPom, and ranks 26th in adjusted offensive efficiency. They are 5-4 against the spread this season. Their starting five is partly made up of players who transferred to the school in the 2023 offseason, which could explain the unpredictability as the roster works toward cohesion on the court. Forward Tyler Burton and guard TJ Bamba both enrolled this season from the transfer portal. Burton leads the team in rebounds per game (7.0), and Bamba ranks second in assists per game (2.0).

In each of their three losses, ‘Nova has been beaten badly from the three-point line. Every time this team has lost, the opposing team has shot 50% or more from the perimeter. They are also getting beat down low in these losses — their opponents have shot 40% or more from the field, and ‘Nova has not reached the 40% mark from the field in any of their three losses.

Kansas State (6-2) is fresh off a one-point win over North Alabama. This Wildcats team has not been tested much this season, and when they have been, they lost. Their ticks in the loss column come from USC and Miami (FL), the only two Power Five teams they have faced this season.

K-State ranks 53rd overall at KenPom, with neither their offense nor their defense cracking the top 50. Guard Tylor Perry, who led North Texas to the NIT Championship last season before transferring to Manhattan, leads the Wildcats in points (17.2) and assists (5.2) per game. The Wildcats are just 3-5 ATS this season, which does not look promising for this matchup.

Kansas State shouldn’t be much of a threat to Villanova at the three-point line, as the team has averaged just 31.6% from the perimeter this season. Despite Villanova’s early-season bumps, I like them to cover on the road here. Kansas State has yet to pass a big test, and Villanova can likely avoid a loss here unless K-State gets hot from the three.

Villanova vs. Kansas State Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Villanova -2
Total: 142.5
Moneyline: Villanova -142, K-State +114

Pick: Villanova -2